Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A trip to Hogenakkal falls from Bangalore

Three of us went on a trip to Hogenakkal Falls from Bangalore. These falls are on the Karnataka -Tamil Nadu border and off the river Kaveri.

The falls are approximately four hours and 180kms from Bangalore. We booked an Indica, left at 8.30 am in the morning stopping for breakfast on the way. The drive along the way was beautiful with lush green mountains visible in the distance as we neared our destination. The roads were wide with divider for the most part.

We reached the town of Hogenakkal around 1pm and our first sight was one of chaos. The town is an extremely dirty one with heavy crowds – people getting oil massages, fish curries flying here and there – for a fair bit of time we were perplexed as to why this place is rated so highly. We followed the directions to the waterfall and the falls only mildly impressed us. The crowd was the overbearing oppressive factor especially as the intent to go on such trips is to be away from human beings. People washing, bathing, dripping in oil and what not off the various multiple waterfalls (which were actually beautiful had it not been for the crowd) really repulsed us.

Waterfalls near Hogenakkal town
At that point, our desire for a brief instant was to go back and never tell anyone we came to this place. Glad, we didn’t follow that thought. The other pending thing on our agenda was the Coracle ride (a small basket-like boat in which you’re taken around the waters) which had been rated very highly on the internet.

We bargained for the ride - 3 people for Rs 900 (typically the boat contained 5-6 people; but I suspect we overpaid by a fair bit) and went off on to the Coracle. It was totally worth it! Period. The Coracle ride was the first thing that happened which was great; if nothing else, the fear of colliding into oil-dripping human beings was gone.
View from the Coracle ride
We enjoyed the ride, got drenched off a small fall, had good fun and stopped off at a different point from where we were asked to walk to another point. Without understanding the local language, we just followed directions and instructions and then we had a pleasant surprise in store. We then realized why Hogenakkal is so famous and for nothing it is not called the Niagara of India.

The real falls for which this place is famous is away from the town and reachable only by Coraikal (not sure if this is correct – might be reachable by road – if so, any one should attempt to directly go there and not waste time near the town). We were left awe-struck on our first sight of the real Hogenakkal Waterfalls.

There is a giant pit or cavern – extremely wide (maybe 100 metres perimeter) and water flows off from all direction and flows down with a stunning force. We spent a lot of time at the falls just gazing into the water and taking photographs. The height of the falls is probably around 20-30 metres.
Some images on the web seem to indicate you could take the coracle near the falls – but given the monsoon time and force of water which we saw it seemed scarcely believable. The only other point of note was a solitary giant rock (see pic) which seemed to be right in dead center facing the brunt of those waters and still managing to maintain its dignity and laugh off the pressure. Wonder how many years pass before it is finally eroded ! But whilst it stays, it bravely has to constantly withstand the enormous pressure and force of those waters.
Hogenakkal Waterfalls

Due to time constraints, we left the falls to continue the remainder of our coracle ride which in stark contrast was through absolute serene back waters and reached back to the Hogenakkal town. There was also a Crocodile Park in the town which we couldn't go to due to time scarcity.

We left back at 4pm and entered the city of Bangalore around 8pm. All-in-all capping off a satisfactory day’s trip!

For further pictures, visit this link.


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  1. You made sure to mention the Crocodile Park :P

  2. By the way Arun, the "Watefalls near Hogenakkal town" looks so nice in the pic. You have cut the corners perfectly while taking the pic to take all the humans out of it!!!

    1. Exactly, that was the intent!! And for the park, I didn't mention the disappointment felt for not being able to go!

  3. Well written article.!

  4. Cool ! If takes only 4 hrs frm bangalore to view such waterfall.
    U did not mention how was ur ride , sitting in a basket type boat !

  5. hi dear very nice blog, planning to spend your weekend in a different way the you must visit bandipur
    and also the nearby place br hills resorts